Sandra at Transpose Barbican with Chris Red (onscreen)
...storytelling with conscience & consciousness.
Sandra is a writer, filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist and curator who has published and presented widely throughout the UK, North America and Europe.
(San uses the pronouns 'she/her' or 'they/them'.)
Sandra is co-editor (with Khairani Barokka & Daniel Sluman) of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, an anthology of 54 UK poets. Their poetic love affair with voice-activated software and disability poetics, Naturally Speaking, co-won Canada's 2013 bpNichol Award. They have published two other books of poetry and a chapbook of short fiction.
Sandra's short stories, poems, essays, plays and artworks have been anthologised in publications including We Were Always Here: A Queer Words Anthology (404 Ink, 2019), Protest! Stories of Resistance (Comma Press, 2017), Trans*Homo (NoNo Verlag, 2012), Outspoken (Playwrights Canada Press, 2009), The State of the Arts (Coach House Books, 2006). Other recent publications included The Deaf Poets Society, Gutter and Feral Feminisms.
Sandra's readings and performances include Glasgow Autonomous Space, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Transpose (Barbican), Last Word (Roundhouse), Ledbury Poetry Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Soho Theatre (with Oxford Playhouse), Arts & Precarity Cabaret, Aye Write!, Jawdance (Apples & Snakes), Ottawa International Writers Festival and VERSeFest. They have a reputation for innovative interdisciplinary collaborations, and co-founded collectives including They They Theys and Zorras.
In 2016-17, Sandra was commissioned for Disability Arts Online's Viewfinder project, where they co-curated an exciting playlist of films by and about disabled and D/deaf artists, and co-created five new documentaries (with Lisa Mattocks and SICK! Festival). Sandra was an Anatomy Arts Associate Artist for 2016, collaborating with 15 artists and developing a live short story reading and film project based on their story, 'Equivalence' (published in Comma's Thought X, 2017). This went on to feature at Barbican and Edinburgh Filmhouse.
Sandra's group art shows include London's Tate Modern and Berlin's Schwules Museum. They have exhibited solo work at Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham), Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, MacRobert (Stirling), Malmo Queer Film Festival, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival and Entzaubert Queer DIY Film Festival (Berlin). In 2013, they were awarded an LGBT History Month Scotland Cultural Commission (National Lottery) to mentor D/deaf and disabled queer and trans filmmakers.
Since 2009, Sandra has curated Scotland's intersectional arts project, Cachín Cachán Cachunga! They have been artist-in-residence at Canada's Banff Centre, Mexico's FONCA, and Scotland's GoMA. Along with Ajamu X, they were an inaugural artist-in-residence at Trongate 103.
Sandra thanks you if you've read this far. Here's where they'll say Pssst! A lot of the big (and even some of the little) arts and literature producers/institutions in this bio and San's CVs did not provide accessible or safe experiences for a queer, working-poor, disabled, Mad, genderqueer white artist (and are exceptionally detrimental to POC). We put these things on bios because they give us 'validity', but should we? It can be argued we're 'using institutions back' after they have used us to appear 'diverse', but does this send an incorrect message of safety to our communities who might be considering working with these same entities/people? Can those of us who live in constant precarity afford to publicly criticise those who mistreat us, if those same people/institutions control funding and reputation? San is still thinking this through...
The place is rammed...and the show does not disappoint. Reminiscent of Miranda July and complemented by a deadpan delivery, Alland's words are at once both drolly funny and sweetly strange.
– Lock Up Your Daughters Magazine, Glasgow
photo by Kat Gollock